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Africa can create rival to Amazon and e-Bay


African business people should stop waiting for the likes of Amazon and e-Bay and develop their own online e-commerce websites – this is the opinion of Chinese entrepreneurs in Uganda.

Africa has a lot to sell, and a lot of people to buy goods. However, what it lacks is the online channels to allow businesses to set up shop online.

As well as allowing the sale of goods, African countries must also look to online marketing to improve other areas of their economies, notably tourism.

“Uganda and Africa must not wait for global players to take this initiative. This is a very good investment opportunity for local entrepreneurs to turn around the trend of doing business.”

Speaking on behalf of Chinese interests, Max Tang, an online business trainer and developer told the East African Business Week, stated that Chinese and Indian products have sold well in East African because producers, manufacturers and retailers in those countries sell on reliable trusted online shops.

“Today Ugandan business men and women do not need to physically travel to China or Dubai to make orders or payment for merchandise. They make orders online and their products delivered as per the agreed timeframe and this what we should learn to do.”

Tang makes some strong points. Online marketing is important for any business, however the business needs to ensure they are right for an online audience. For sure an e-Bay style website can and will work for Africa, but is the delivery infrastructure in place yet?

We do however agree that Africa really should make its own version of e-Bay, Amazon or Alibaba rather than let some foreign entity come into the continent and make $$$ while probably paying little tax!


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